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so there are so many ideas out there that would help us improve the financial condition of our low-income families, from increasing the minimum wage by an amount that did not cause massive job losses to improving our job training programs so that we can fix this mismatch between the jobs that are available and the skills that our workers have. i would note that the department of commerce secretary testified that there are four million jobs that are unfilled nationwide because of that mismatch in available jobs and the skills needed to fill them. there are other proposals to give tax incentives to small businesses. we have allowed a very important tax incentive that encouraged hiring to expire at the end of last year.
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the work opportunity tax credit expired. why not extend that, not only to those groups who qualify now but also to people who have been unemployed for a long time, to encourage employers to take a advance on them, to bring them into the -- back into the work force where they want to be. we could also include other provisions. for example, i have a bipartisan bill with senator donnelly and senator manchin and members on my side of the aisle that would fix the definition of full-time work under obamacare so that it would be 40 hours a week and not 30 hours a week. we would go back to the standard definition of 40 hours a week. there are tax incentives having to do with bonus depreciation and small business expensing that would encourage small businesses to make the
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investments so that they can hire more employees. madam president, we ought to have a full debate on all of these options, not just stop with one vote on whether or not to proceed to one bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 with no amendments allowed, with no alternative proposals being permitted. madam president, i so believe that if we could get back to the normal way of doing business that we would so much better serve the people of this country, including low-income workers who are struggling to get by, and i believe we could come up with a compromise that would enjoy bipartisan support.
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i'm not saying it would be easy, but we ought to at least try, madam president. and i have talked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are willing to try, and we need to be given that opportunity, madam president. each and every member in this body cares about individuals who are working two jobs, who may have two minimum wage jobs because they're trying to support their families. i think that we could come together, but we can't come together unless we are allowed to offer alternatives, to fully debate the issues and to bring forth ideas to improve our job training programs and to encourage the creation of more jobs as well as better paying
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jobs in what unfortunately remains a very anemic -- a very anemic economy. simple late -- >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. >> thank you, everybody. thank you. thank you, everybody. good afternoon.
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aloha. months since i have called on congress to reward be hard work of millions of americans like the ones we have here today to raise the federal minimum wage, we saw this morning and majority of senators saying yes. but almost every republican saying no to giving america a raise. they brought the bill sponsored by congressman tom harkin and george miller, who was right here in front. [applause] have graduallyld raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. by preventing even a vote on
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this bill, they have prevented a raise for 28 million hard-working americans. they said no to helping millions work their way out of poverty. mind, this bill would have done so without any new taxes or spending or bureaucracy. americans, like the ones who are here today, that you are on your own. without even looking them in the eye. depend on these americans. the workers who benefit from a minimum-wage increase often work full time, often in physically demanding jobs. they average 35 years of age. most low-paying jobs are held by women. but because republicans in even denying ao, vote on the floor of the senate,
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these folks are going to have to wait for the raise they deserve. the good news is, outside of washington, folks are waiting. have beenblicans deciding whether to even allow a minimum wage bill to come up for a vote, we have seen 10 states and the district of columbia go ahead and raise theirs. yesterday the hawaii legislature voted to raise their minimum wage to $10.10. maryland did the same. i know we have some merit when -- maryland legislatures -- legislators here today. good work. the action taken by the states mean over one million workers will see a raise. what is more, we have seen big
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companies like the gap and small businesses, from a pizza joint in st. louis to an ice cream parlor in florida, increasingly wages foro raise their employees because they know it is good business. they know it means employees are more likely to stay on the job, less turnover. it means that they are going to be more productive. and customers see the difference. iat is one of the reasons issued an executive order requiring employees on new paid a contracts to be fair wage of at least $10.10. [applause] so, americans have been way out in front of congress on this issue. in fact, about three in four americans support raising the
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minimum wage. that is because we believe on the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full-time should have to raise a family and poverty. that is a basic principle. [applause] those at the top are doing better than ever, while millions of americans are working harder and harder just that three out of four americans understands a deserve a raise. a few months ago, i got a letter from a woman named sheila. sheila lives in georgia. at the time she was working tea. jobs -- two jobs. not have days do off. i have hours off. but she kept going to work every day because she wanted to afford college tuition for her daughter
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. she wrote to me and said, "i do not want a pot of gold. all i want is to pay for college and pay my bills in full every month." she does not expect to get wealthy. she just wants to pay the bills every month. she meets her responsibilities based on her own hard work. people like sheila deserve a fair shot. so far republicans in congress disagree. in fact some of them want to scrap the minimum wage entirely. one house republican it has outlived its usefulness. i vote to remove the minimum wage. a senate republican says he does not think the minimum wage helps the middle class. issue. a very simple either you are in favor of raising wages for hard-working
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americans or you are not. either you want to grow the economy for the middle up in the bottom up so that prosperity is broad-based, or you think top-down economics is the way to go. in congress have found the time to vote more than 50 times to undermine or repeal the health-care bill for millions of working families. earlier this month they voted for a budget that would give the wealthiest americans a massive tax cut while facing deep cuts in the investments that help middle-class families, but they will not raise wages for working families when three quarters of americans support it? it makes no sense. on top of that, they blocked our efforts to make sure women receive equal pay for equal work. they stood in the way as we fought to extend unemployment insurance for parents to meet it will help supporting their families will they are out looking for work. republicans failed to dismantle the affordable care act.
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they have increasingly failed to do anything when it comes to helping people who work hard to get ahead. if there is any good news here come a it is that republicans in congress do not get the last word on this issue or any issue. you do, the american people. you vote. [applause] changes happen. republicans in congress like it or not. my message to the american people is this -- do not get discouraged by a vote like the one we saw this morning. get fired up, get organized, make your voices heard. rest assured, i will continue working with you and leader nancy pelosi and other members of congress who are here today to raise wages for hard-working americans. it is the right thing to do. [applause] if your member of congress does not support raising the minimum
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wage, you got to let them know they are out of step. and if they keep putting politics ahead of working americans, you will put them out of office. tell them to reconsider. tell them it is time for $10.10. you can tweet at them. htag #1010means. and while you're at it, tell them to restore unemployment insurance for working americans. [applause] know, extending this lifeline of unemployment insurance would actually strengthen the economy and create jobs. give millions of americans across the country a sense of hope. in the meantime i am going to keep offering my support to every business owner and mayor and governor and county official and legislator and organization
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to give america a raise. change does not come from washington. it comes to washington from all of the folks out there working hard. americans want the people they send here to set aside the political arguments and move this country forward. with enough persistence the american people will ultimately win out. so, thank you and god bless you. sample the u.s. house will return to legislative business on tuesday at 2 p.m. eastern. we will have live coverage here on c-span. before returning, house leaders eric cantor and steny hoyer discussed the upcoming legislative agenda. monday, the house is not in session. on tuesday, the house will meet
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at 2 p.m. for legislative business. votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. wednesday and thursday, the house will meet at 10 a.m. and noon for legislative business. the last week -- the last votes of the week are expected no later than 3 p.m. the house will consider a complete list of votes next week which will be announced no later than tomorrow. in addition the house will 1138, sponsored by representative kevin brady. this bill will provide american businesses with the certainty develop the technologies of the future. the house is also scheduled to consider privileged resolution her in lerner, finding contempt of congress for refusal to comply with the subpoena issued by the committees on
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oversight and government reform. lastly, mr. speaker, the house will consider hr 10, the success and opportunity through quality charter schools act, authored by chairman john kline. mr. speaker, america does not work if our children are trapped in failing schools. this bipartisan bill provides an opportunity for our children to attend schools which foster a quality learning environment focused on those student succeeding. with that, i yield back. simple i thank the gentleman for that information with reference to the legislature for next week. he leads with a bill that is the american research and competitiveness act of 2014." as the gentleman knows, we have an agenda which i talk to him about briefly, which we call making it in america, which is essentially about growing manufacturing, encouraging
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manufacturers to return to the united states and encouraging people of when they want to go into manufacturing to do so here in america. at only will that provide for made in america label around the world, but it will also provide the kind of middle-class jobs and opportunities that we need. part of that agenda, i will tell my friend, is to make permanent the research and development act tax credit. this bill does that. this bill also cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 billion dollars, maybe a little less, over 10 years. unpaid for. the series of bills that were passed by the ways and means committee will cost 300 $10 billion. there are also an paid. i suggest to my friend, and he relativelyach regularly, one of the things we need to do for the business
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community and america is to get ourselves on a fiscally sustainable path. campap offered a -- mr. offered a comprehensive piece of, mr. it made hard choices. it made hard choices not to increase the deficit, and therefore providing offsets for tax cuts. i think that is absolutely essential for us to do. this bill that we will consider next week, which is a proposition i think most of us support, and that is giving thatesses the insurance the tax credit will in fact be available for not only one year, but a series of years. in this case, i believe, 10 years. what the business community does not need, what america does not need is making the deficit worse. as a matter of fact, mr.
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speaker, your party talks a lot about bringing the deficit down. this goes in exactly the opposite direction. i think that his lamentable. actually0 dutch it is $155 billion over 10 years. partyd think that the demanding the unemployment insurance be paid for, that is demanding the sustainable growth rate be paid for, and that any change in the sequester be paid consistency have $155 billion to our deficit in a vote next week on something i think we are all for and it is easy, mr. leader, as you well know, to vote for tax cuts. easy. takes no courage whatsoever. i have been at this business 45 years.
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it has been my experience over those 45 years it is easy for members to vote for tax cuts. is to pay foro do the policies you adopt. this bill does not do that. this bill makes the deficit worse. exacerbates the confidence americans have in the fiscal responsibility of their country and puts us in a worse place. i would hope, mr. leader, before this bill comes to the floor, that u.n. the rules committee as he did in the bill he offered to this house, which was frankly dismissed out of hand because it made tough noisions, this bill makes tough decisions. this bill has no tough decisions. it has a tax cut. it has all of the candy, none of the spinach. tois all good and nobody has
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pay the price. nobody has to take responsibility. i think that his lamentable. and i would hope before this bill comes to the floor, there would be a way to pay for this bill. you there isst to a way to pay for it. there is a way to pay for the other extenders this committee wants. and that is by passing a comprehensive immigration bill. mr. weiner indicated that that mr. boehner indicated that was not being done because it was tough. that is why it is hard to do tough things, because it is tough. he says he was kidding when he said that. the reason that we are considering this bill is because
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it is easy to do. also tax reform, which is difficult to do. it would pay for all of the tax proposed,are being the extenders of being proposed by the senate finance committee. they only propose that for two years, not 10 years. in fact the cbo said that it would leave $200 billion for next year -- for the next 10 years and $900 billion for the next 20 years. , the budgete committee chairs mr. ryan and ms. murray were able to come up with a replacement. we ought to be able to do that as well. let me close this part of my
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comments with two quotes. republican secretary of the treasury, hank paulson, who said as a general rule, i don't believe that tax cuts pay for themselves. and then mr. alan greenspan, who initially said in 2001 and 2003 that he got the tax cuts would pay for themselves. however, upon review of those , on ats, he came back response to a question on "meet david gregory. the question was, you don't agree with the republican leaders who say tax cuts a for themselves. mr. greenspan -- "they do not." republicanour colleagues are being asked to
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vote for a $155 billion increase in the deficit. which they all say they want to bring down. up ande they will get rationalize as they did in 1981, in 2001, 2003 that those tax the will magically grow economy's so that they would not exacerbate the deficit. been in3 years i have congress, that has not been our experience. so, mr. leader, i very sincerely hope we can join together in a bipartisan way and support this theslation, because it is right thing to do in terms of growing manufacturing and it is the right thing to do in bringing down our deficit to pay for it and i yield to my friends erie it -- to my friend. tople direct your comments the chair. i think the gentleman for yielding.
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430-plus -- for 30-plus years, the tax credit has been on extension. this is nothing but reflecting reality, saying this is a very important part of incentives so we can fulfill the mission the gentleman is on as well as we share, which is more manufacturing in america. if making it in america is d tax credit isr& fundamental to this mission. this has been in place for over 30 years on temporary extension. to hold it hostage, as the gentleman suggests, mr. speaker, is not the way to go about facilitating growth in our economy. froi respect the gentleman commitment to fiscal discipline. obviously we have different opinions about how to get to that goal.
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us, i think, could agree, mr. speaker that growth is something that has been too , too tepid, and we need to return to an era in which we can see some robust growth in our economy. it will help those who are chronically unemployed. it will help businesses grow. it will help communities grow, families to get by. use years so they can see a better future. this tax credit is something the gentleman says he supports, and to support that means support it as it has existed, but let's once and for all send a signal of certainty that this will be the policy for manufacturing and others in this country so we can continue to innovate. i yield back.
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i thank the gentleman for his comments. i would say the rationale he uses, however, is applicable to the sustainable growth rate increase for doctors serving medicare patients. we do that every year as well. the republican side of the isle demands that that be paid for. >> mr. speaker -- will the gentleman yield? >> i will be glad to yield on a. >> the difference is we have consistently offset the expenditures. this tax credit is a tax credit. it allows businesses to keep more investment to plow it back into research. it is not there on other items the gentleman might point to. this is important to growth, it
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is important to manufacturing. we should all join together and support the permanent extension of what has been in place for over 30 years, on extension over a dozen times. i yelled back. >> i think -- >> i yield back. i thank the gentleman. we have the debt, we have the deficit because we don't pay for what we buy. debt.s why we have a that is why we have a deficit. when we were in charge, we put in a pay-as-you-go rule. that role said, if you are going to spend money, this is essentially a tax expenditure, it is a worthy tax expenditure. it helps to grow the economy, but it is a tax expenditure. and no one on this floor can say that it does not make the deficit worse.
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no one. with any degree of credibility. thatrgument has been made with the tax cuts, they will grow the economy. that is what mr. reagan and his proponents argued in 1981. onedeficit increased hundred 80% under president ronald reagan because they did not pay for themselves. stepped republicans over, mr. speaker, they amended the rules so we did not have to pay for things. this bill comes to the floor without any necessary see -- necessity to pay for it. someone is going to pay for. my children. my grandchildren. your children, mr. speaker. they are the ones who will pay for it erie it because we are going to make a decision, apparently, not to pay for something that we know is going to increase the deficit.
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the analogy, when we want things paid for, is not always follow. for instance, unemployment insurance. almost invariably not paid for. they say an investment in the economy will help grow the gdp, but we do not follow that practice here, unfortunately. we have a bipartisan, paid for unemployment insurance bill the senate has passed, that we can even get to the floor. that is paid for. it grows the economy emma and it helps 2.5 billion people falling cracks. the and yet we bring a bill to the floor that has a 150 $5 billion cost that is not paid for and the uninsured 2.5 ilion are
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ignored. mr. speaker, we don't think that that policy is one way would pursue and we would hope again that before this bill comes to the floor that it is paid for. i referred to comprehensive immigration reform, mr. speaker. and i will yelled to my friend if he wants to make a comment on to myevious -- yield friend if you want to make a comment on the previous -- >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i would point out that the gentleman fro party was in control during the lame-duck &dssion and they passed the r tax credit. i hear what the gentleman is saying, but i would point that out for historical accuracy. we have a different view. the disproportionate cause of our deficit is because we have
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10,000 people every day turning healthing eligible for care entitlement programs and those programs are almost -- the medicare program is almost 50% underfunded. that is the cause for the disproportionate deficit. you cannot tax your way out of it, you cannot grow your way out of it. you have to change the structure of the program. that is something the gentleman fro party, nor the president, will agree with us on. that is the disproportionate cause of the deficit. an additional cause of the deficit is we do not have enough growth. we do not have revenues coming into the federal government. for some reason there has been an acceptance around here of a new norm, a very low, tepid growth. it is certainty. the gentleman said so himself. the gentleman said manufacturing in american needs certainty in
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&d tax credit. we have been allowing that tax credit since 1981 in this country. let's call it what it is and make it permanent so we can get back on the path to growth. addressing growth, addressing our unfunded liabilities connected with entitlement programs, that is the sure way to reduce deficits and the debt burden. i yield back. mr. speaker, i am glad that the gentleman pointed that out. i have been trying to work with the gentleman and his hearty for some time now starting with bull simpson and some comprehensive for some time now impson.g with bowles-s mr. camp has offered a bill.
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i don't agree with some things in it. but it makes the tough choices that need to be made. this bill does not. lastly, because i know the majority leader has another engagement, comprehensive immigration reform -- i said it trillionproximately $1 positive for our economy over the next 20 years. but it's also morally the right thing to do to fix a broken system, a system that does not work with which everybody agrees. i would again appeal to the majority leader, mr. speaker, to bring a comprehensive immigration bill to the floor. i understand there are many on his side of the aisle that do not agree with it. fine. vote against it. but get this house and opportunity, give the american people an opportunity to have a comprehensive immigration bill house onthe people's this floor so we can fix a
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broken system or offer alternatives to that which is proposed by the united states senate and passed overwhelmingly by the united states senate. and if the gentleman wants me to yield to him, i certainly will, and if not, i will yield back the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i would just respond. discussion the before. the majority is in opposition to the senate bill. the speaker has said as much. i have said as much. i have also said to the i've saidand others, to the president what could help is if we start rebuilding trust. which starts with an admission it cannot be my way or the highway. must instead be building trust, understanding where we can agree together. yes, we all agree the system is
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broken. we have a system that is broken on the legal side and we have a system -- we have the legal immigration. there are things the houses is done before, like the green card stapled to the diploma. but the president says, no, we can't do something like that. we can't do something like that without taking care of everything. and that to me, mr. speaker, as where the problem lies. there is not enough trust on the part of the members of this body to think that the white house and the administration is going to implement whatever it is we wes, so instead why should not focus on where we agree and start from there? that is the opinion i have expressed to the gentleman at the administration. again, i take issue with his insistence that somehow we can will all be and it fixed. and that is the fundamental
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problem here, mr. speaker. i yield back. the fundamental problem is not my way or the highway. it is no way. the republican judiciary committee has passed out and number of immigration reform bills. homeland security to midi, headed by republican chairman, has passed out and immigration reform bill dealing with border security. none of those bills have been brought to the floor. it is not a question of liking the senate bill are trusting the president of the united states. everyone agrees, mr. speaker, the immigration system is broken. but there is no way, no bill, no option that has been brought to this floor to fix that system to respond to what everybody agrees is a broken system of immigration. as a matter of fact, the tea aoisearch, the prime
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minister of ireland emma had a conversation about passing immigration reform. they do not have to take our bill. on the people deserve a bill the floor. it is not a question whether they trust the president. it is a question whether they trust the word of the house of representatives that it can work its well. i would hurt we can work are well on this issue. i yield back the balance of the time. >> the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition. that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at noon tomorrow and when the house adjourns on that day it adjourn to meet on tuesday, may 6,
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collects in his weekly address, president obama talks about economic growth and jobs. senator marco rubio from florida has the republican response. he discusses intervention in ukraine. >> hi, everybody. my number one priority as president is doing whatever i can to create more jobs and opportunity for hardworking families. and yesterday, we learned that businesses added 273,000 jobs last month. all told, our businesses have now created 9.2 million new jobs over 50 consecutive months of job growth. but we need to keep going to create more good jobs, and give middle-class families a sense of security. and i want to work with congress to do it. but so far this year, republicans in congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to create jobs and strengthen the middle class. they've said no to raising the minimum wage, no to equal pay for equal work, and no to
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restoring the unemployment insurance they let expire for more than two million americans looking for a new job. that's not what we need right now. not when there are still too many folks out of work and too many families working harder than ever just to get by. that's why, in my state of the union address, i said that in this year of action, whenever i can act on my own to create jobs and expand opportunity for more americans, i will. and since january, i've taken more than 20 executive actions to do just that. i acted to raise more workers' wages by requiring that workers on new federal contracts earn a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour and as long as republicans in congress refuse to act, i'll keep working with cities, states, and businesses to give more americans a raise. i acted to encourage more pay transparency and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws, so that more women have the tools they need to earn fair pay.
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and i'm modernizing regulations to make sure that more americans who work overtime get the pay that they've earned. i've launched new hubs to help attract more high-tech manufacturing jobs to america and ordered a reform of job training programs to make sure more americans can earn the skills that employers need right now. i've brought together business leaders to help us connect more classrooms to high-speed internet, and give more of the long-term unemployed a better shot at finding a job. each of these steps will make a difference. you can check out the full list at but we could do a lot more if republicans in congress were less interested in stacking the deck in favor of those at the top, and more interested in growing the economy for everybody. they've now voted more than 50 times to take apart the affordable care act imagine if they voted 50 times on serious jobs bills. that's why i'm going to take action on my own wherever i can. to grow our economy from the middle-out, not the top down.
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to give every american who works hard a chance to get ahead. that's what this year of action is all about, and that's what i'm going to keep fighting for. thanks, and have a great weekend. hi, this is senator marco rubio from the great state of florida. my parents came to cuba because it was the best chance of a new life. they were able to find good work and retire with dignity and they were able to give us a chance to live a life even better than their own. today at cheap in the stream seems increasingly out of reach for millions of our fellow americans. dramatic and rapid changes in our economy have seen jobs
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vanish, wages stay stagnant, and the cost of living go up and the result is a pervasive sense of economic insecurity and the nagging uncertainty about the future. in the face of all these challenges here at home, there are those who argue we need to focus less on what is happening around the world, but this would be a terrible mistake. because today our economic prosperity depends on our ability to sell products and tovices to other nations,, communicate openly and millions have inest jobs we will the future depend on international trade and commerce. today foreign policy is important part of our domestic alessi and our economic well-being is deeply dependent on our national security. , president obama does not seem to understand this. instead of shaping world events,
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he has often simply reacted to them and instead of a foreign policy based on strategy, his foreign policy is based on politics. in order to reclaim the american dream we need a strategic foreign policy approach that both reflects our values of freedom and human rights and protects our ability to conduct trade and commerce with any market in the world. to that end foreign policy should be based on three basic principles. first, the best way to achieve and maintain peace is through strength. our nationalsuse strength to confront those who attempt to endanger the freedom of the seas, airspace, or the internet. and third, we must never allow any nation or terror group to hold any region of the world hostage to their demands. we should never have to act a power for permission to conduct commerce in any nation
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and we should always stand on the side of the vulnerable and oppressed. recentr putin's challenge to ukraine is a clear violation of those principles. the ukraine decided to create stronger economic ties with the west, but he decided he would not allow that. when his efforts to bully the ukrainian people failed, he invaded crimea, and now russian or since continue to promote unrest in eastern ukraine. some ask, why is this our problem? because we cannot allow the president to be set that to nationshe west smaller must first seek permission of more powerful neighbors. president obama talks tough about vladimir putin, but his actions have not gone far enough to change his calculation that the benefits of his aggression outweigh the cost. that is why this weeks
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republican introduced bill would impose tough new sanctions on economy andutin's his cronies. it will ensure that u.s. forces deployed in europe are positioned strategically. allow to sell the more american natural gas. these steps could convince putin and his supporters but the costs of their illegal action outweigh the benefits and we hope the our, -- our- democratic colleagues will join us to make this a bipartisan effort. of course, the international challenges to our prosperity will not end with ukraine. after a decade of conflict abroad we're anxious to conflict -- to focus on home. everruth is now more than
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before a crisis halfway around the world can have a bigger impact on our pocket books than some crisis halfway across town. other nations will also and if it from freedom and must be willing to help. but only america can lead the supper. to meyou for listening today. and may god bless all of you and may god always bless our country. >> a recent new york times magazine story found that only one prosecution relating to the 20 oh eight financial crisis led to a conviction and jail time. we spoke to the author of that article on this morning's "washington journal." continues. host: our next guest was a from new york, jesse eisinger from propublica, also from the "new york times." i would just read you the
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headline -- why only one top anchor went to jail for the financial crisis. case?figure, is that the singer, is that the case? guest: it is the case. only 1 wall st person went to our history, we usually find crimes and lock people up for them. >> tell us about this person and tell us how he went to jail. karim, not exactly a household name pulls up he was an executive at credit squeeze, and he was four rungs from the ceo. he is an egyptian born executive who oversaw traders do complex mortgage securities. he grew up in the upper peninsula of michigan, and at a in the earlyt
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stages of the crisis, his traders lied about the value of their mortgage backed securities, and he knew about that, and he sort of looked the other way, so he was guilty, and he pled guilty, and he is now in prison. >> so there is the one conviction, but compare that to the number of investigations, particularly stemming out of the financial crisis of 2007, 2008, what is the ratio there? they: i don't not think have never been enumerated, but there were investigations into investment banks, commercial banks, mortgage banks, hedge funds, special portfolio managers, across the country, there were investigations, and none of them, except for the one against kareem, bore criminal ,ruit, which is fairly bizarre i think, and a lot of people have questioned this, and i set out to try to understand what exactly had happened. as far as the actual
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looking in the investigation, as far as the criminal acts, what is the crime or least what are the types of crimes being investigated as a result of these investigations? the question was whether there were crimes committed, and a lot of prosecutors will say there simply were not crimes committed, but i think that strains credulity, there were a variety of types of crimes. one large thing was what kareem serageldin was found guilty was, which is lying about the value of your assets, that can be a crime if you knowingly do it with intent. the second thing is misleading andpublic about your books records. that also, i believe, happened. the question is whether the top executive know about it. there is another bucket, which is misleading people when you are selling something. what happened in the crisis was that a lot of people sold mortgages to investment banks
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that got sold to customers that they knew were rotten, and they it,not tell anybody about and then people on wall street constructed complex mortgage securities, some of them secretly bet against them, building them to fail, and i think in some ways that may have been criminal. nothing was ever proven or charged, but i think that should have been explored more fully. host: one of the things you write about, mr. eisinger, in your piece, taking a look at why only one land in jail, you said the cases were complex to investigate and would have been infernally difficult to explain to juries. can you expand on that? guest: sure. i do not think that as an excuse, but it is certainly a fact that if you have to take a case where you need to explain what a collateralized debt obligation is and then explain what a credit default slot is and then explain that you are
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going sort, you know, at this eyes have juries' eye glazed over. before you have gotten to the jury, you have to go and figure out whether there was a crime committed. there is not a kilo of cocaine on the table, as a prosecutor once told me, in an insider trading case, which is another security fraud case, you have got a discrete moment of time were a crime was almost clearly committed, and then you go about trying to figure out who committed it. that is like a crime like murder. you know the crime was committed, and you have to figure out whodunit. in the securities fraud case, often you need to figure out whether there was a crime committed at all in the first place, and that could take years. these are very difficult cases, and i do grant that to prosecutors, that lots of people's jobs are hard. it is not an excuse when you
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fail. host: is visible to say it is hard to prove a case if someone was being reckless with the way they were handling money or the size of securities -- that would actually constitute a crime? guest: that is exactly the point here is that a lot of this, a lot of the crisis, in fact i think the majority of the crisis was caused by recklessness and stupidity, and is much as i would like to make that illegal, and many of us would, it is not. in the united states. part ofis the biggest what caused the crisis -- a failure of bankers to act stupidity,, enormous a lot taking advantage of the stupidity, and a lot of regulatory, disastrous regulatory failures and gaps in our regulation. but that does not preclude that there were crimes committed, and in my view, there likely were, and especially when some of
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these financial institutions were teetering on the brink and needed to show public confidence about the state of affairs. and in that kind of crisis moments, people often lie, and i suspect that people did. host: in mr. serageldin's case, what was it sentence? guest: he was sentenced to 30 months in prison in pennsylvania. he is a foreign national, so it is a little bit worse than the kind of country club white-collar prison that some of us have in our minds. this is a fairly tough facility, and he is in a room with about 70 other people in a bunk. no more.ive books and he is subject to a lot of constricted movements. this is an ono cakewalk.
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host: our guest is jesse eisinger, publisher for the "new york times," he is talking about investigations of the 2007, 2008 financial crisis. if you are asking a question, here are the numbers, (202) 585-3880 for democrats, (202) 585-3881 for the publicans, and (202) 585-3882 for independents. here is the piece -- "why only one top banker went to jail for the financial crisis." fromeen is up first boulder, colorado, on our democratic line. caller: good morning. i want to ask jesse, i watched the bailout hearings, and the economy is not my strength by any means, but i am watching the hearings is to watch and learn, and i watched most of them come and like you are talking about with the credit assault flops and the different language, the different language in the banking world, i was watching our congress people's eyes glaze over, and i thought oh, my god
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cometh they have no idea what these guys are talking about, you know, we are in deep trouble because i mean i certainly did not know, but our congress have the willg to to do the deeper investigations and the accountability, but i listened to this guy, professor william black, who was the head that she was an attorney, a professor, and i believe one of the head investigators into the savings and loan scandal. what is youtube videos, occupy l.a. or something like that, but anyway, he said that during the savings and loan scandal, there were 10,000, they made 10,000 prosecutors real referrals, and out of that, over 1000 people were prosecuted. now, he claims the department of justice has all the tools they need to prosecute these individuals, but that the department of justice as well is our congress do not have the will to prosecute post up host.
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host: we will leave it there. jesse eisinger. guest: i know bill, and i believe he is right about most of this. i disagree with him about the tool's, and part of my argument in the piece is that the department of justice has actually gradually lost some tools through its own mistakes, fiascoes, prosecutorial overreach, adverse ruling from the court over the last decade, and now i don't think that any of the tools, especially oolividually, anyone t was particularly momentous when they lost it, but it added up to a significant powershift to the defense bar, and i think the department of justice has not grappled with it. but i do also agree essentially that this was a failure of will, a failure to coordinate natural resources and really make this a priority. it is a multifaceted disaster that we have on our hands with
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the department of justice. host: mr. eisinger, one of the things he wrote about any piece, a gentleman named larry thompson, the former deputy attorney general 2001 to 2003. he wrote a memo. what was that memo and did it affect the types of investigations that we haven't to these matters? guest: yes. the early bush administration, contrary to what popular notion, was actually quite tough on corporate crime. this was in the wake of the enron and worldcom accounting scandals at the largest companies in the united states, and there were serious prosecutions, including of some of george bush's close political allies. larry thompson was the deputy attorney general at the time, and they formulated, he formulated in conjunction with his colleagues, a memo of how to andfter corporate criminals
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how to investigate and prosecute corporations. this was actually building on work, ironically, that eric holder, who was then deputy under janet reno in the clinton administration, had first laid out. this was quite a tough memo, and immediately created an enormous backlash by the corporate lobby, the white-collar defense bar, and that the prosecutors's implemented this memo from larry thompson, who was quite tough on corporate criminals, they overreached and it started to get rolled back over the decade, and that is one of the problems with how they lost these tools in learning how to investigate and prosecute crimes. host: when you say overreach, is it because they showed too much teeth in the matter? guest: yes, one of the seminal cases, well there were 2, 1 is arthur anderson. arthur andersen was the accounting firm that enabled and
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run, and it was a recidivist firm. it had health accounting fraudsters like waste management and sunbeam and had settled for notional amounts of money, almost the cost of doing business. in fact, they even thought of it as a cost of doing business, which is completely anathema to preventing corporate crime. intron, arthurof andersen partners destroyed documents, and the department of justice felt it had no choice and indicted the firm. after the indictment, the firm went out of business. it put tens of thousands of people on the street, and almost immediately, prosecutors, some prosecutors and many people thought that this had been a disastrous mistake, an overreach, and subsequently, the supreme court for somewhat technical reasons overturned the conviction. they did not say arthur andersen was in a thing, but they did say
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that the conviction was wrong. so the department of justice took a lesson from this and the lesson was -- we should really be extraordinarily cautious about indicting corporations. in fact, we should be deeply fearful of it. i think they grossly over learned the lesson from arthur andersen. subsequently, they were investigating tax fraudsters at andher counting firm, kpmg, try to pressure kpmg to stop paying the attorneys fees for the employees under investigation. they tried to make the company waive its corporate privilege so attorney would waive lien privilege, which is something that corporations had ahind often, and a judge in scathing ruling said that the prosecutors had violated the constitution, violated the constitutional rights of these defendants, and that also led to this rolling back of these prosecutorial powers and
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techniques, which has led them to really be rendered unable to to investigate people at the higher echelon of corporate america. host: this is peter on our republican line. caller: mr. eisinger, no comment, this was a failure of government basically. i would like to give context to the situation. in the late 1970's during the carter administration, they develop the community reinvestment act, which made fannie and freddie about three percent of their purchases of the prime mortgages. in 1995, there was a lot of pressure on the clinton administration to increase the amount of mortgages that were given to poor and minority people, so clinton developed these public-write it harder ships, which forced th
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fannie and freddie to increase their subprime mortgages. at what happened at that time, it was requiring that fannie and freddie by 55% of their purchases, sub prime mortgages. unfortunately, this policy was through into the bushes administration post up mr. bush increased his investment by giving a $13,000 tax credits to people, first-time home mortgages. host: with all the context, if you have a question for our guest, please. why mr. bush did not reduce the mandates on freddie and fannie because banks were being punished for not supplying mortgages to poor people, and mr. bush continued that policy, to his destruction. host: ok. mr. eisinger.
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guest: this is a myth. you are almost entirely incorrect, i am sorry to say. it has been widely debunked it is kind of right wing fantasy that continues to live in certain circles, but very quickly, fannie and freddie actually lost shares during the bubble. fannie and freddie's mortgages have performed vastly better than private mortgages. the enti the entities that were the worst performers and the heart of the housing mortgage bubble were actually not subject to the community reinvestment act, and part of the crisis was in collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps with aig, which were -- have nothing to do with the community reinvestment act or mortgages, so this was really a private problem. this was not caused by the government. that is not to say that there were not enormous government
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regulatory failures, but they were regulatory failures of deregulation and lack of regulation rather than overregulation of the mortgages, and i encourage you to read more widely because that is basically not true. host: steve is up next from california on our independent line for jesse eisinger. caller: mr. eisinger, a lot of what happened started here in the inland empire in california. i do not understand -- it took me a long time to understand what happened. it was not illegal, like you said, and no money down? stated income? and these adjustables they came up with. it was not illegal, but i mean, it was -- people do not realize i think how much of a crisis it was. i think that the government had not handled it correctly. we very easily could have slipped into a depression. guest: i agree with you.
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we could have easily slipped into a depression. i think that we did have the worst financial crisis since the great depression, and we have still not recovered from it. the economy is still reeling from it. and i think that some of the activity was actually illegal. i think there was a series of predatory lending that should have been more significantly investigated. i do think there was a bit of complicity on the part of borrowers to some extent. no one can walk into a bank and demand a loan and get a loan from a bank that isn't willing to give it. the heart of lending is the agency of lending, the bank itself. this is a crisis. it was a crisis that had many forms.
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many causes. there was a deregulated financial system and subsequently, there were crimes that were inadequately investigated by the department of justice. our guest covers wall street and finance and writes a regular column for the new york times. a story found in the magazine in the new york times looking at the conviction. you write this, as far as the reasons why this is happening, you say the very ambition of prosecutors played a prominent role. government lawyers don't want to spend their entire careers in the public sector. guest: yes. i think you have seen this play out, especially acutely in the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan. which is the premier securities office in the country.
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he has emphasized insider-trading cases. they have racked up a spectacular record. they are 80 for 80 on insider-trading wins. insider-trading turns out to be a much easier task to take. -- path to take. the kind of case earlier that is easier to prove. a jury understands it more easily and you get on the front page of the wall street journal. you seem to be a hero. then, when you go and put your resume out to the firms to get 10 times the money to be a partner there, you have made your reputation. what you haven't done is take on the highest players at the top echelons of corporate america.
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they missed the opportunity and failed in trying to address the really significant crime. many prosecutors and former prosecutors told me that themselves. one of them told me, these insider-trading cases made our careers, but they don't change the world. another told me that he thought the government had failed. host: our next call is jerry from indiana. on our democrats line. caller: lehman brothers was one of the big culprits in this whole ps go. the ceo -- this whole fiasco. why wasn't the ceo prosecuted? what's he doing today? guest: my article walked through the lehman brothers investigation. what i think ultimately happened was, there were not adequate
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resources put into it by the department of justice. they got overwhelmed and there was a lack of coordination. it was assigned to three different offices. that suggests an enormous push, but broke up the investigation and rendered it inadequate. it ultimately came down to one woman in the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan. she was very confident and smart. that is not the kind of resources to bring to such a complex calamity. i don't think the ceo was adequately investigated. i don't think they adequately investigated the cfos who misrepresented the state of lehman brothers in the months leading up to its failure. the ceo still a
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multimillionaire. he's living a fairly quiet life, trying to stay out of the limelight. he's probably feeling pretty good about himself because he is a free man. host: what's the role of the securities and exchange commission? guest: they blew it as well. i don't think they adequately sanctioned firms. they certainly did not refer enough criminal cases to the doj. they tried to be aggressive about fining firms, but they also have had an erosion of investigative trials. they have lost some trials, which have been a significant black eye. the current commissioner has a big job in front of her to try
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to improve the morale of the place and ramp up the skill set. whether she is the right person for that job, i'm somewhat skippable. -- skeptical. she had been a white-collar defense attorney, representing some of the highest, most important defendants who had been investigated in the wake of the financial crisis. she had previously been a well-respected u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. where her instincts lie is a question that has not been answered. host: have we seen the ends of these types of cases going forward? guest: yes. the financial crisis investigations are largely over. they have made unusual statements, saying that they have wound up investigations. usually they don't do that.
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we may see some civil actions still. the statute of limitations has not expired on some civil charges. that may still happen. as for criminal charges, no one is going to go to prison for the financial crisis. host: republican line. caller: good morning. i don't think i have heard you talk about the repeal of -- they -- glass-steagall. they mixed conservative loans with ridiculous derivative investments. that is what caused the implosion 13 years later. it's amazing that he is disregarding the whole aspect of individuals, homebuyers who were
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acting completely responsible and mortgaging down on their home loans. it is attributable to the derivatives. there's about 800 billion. people have walked away from their home loans. nobody forced them to buy those homes. in certain states like florida and nevada, 35% of the home sales were second homes. people taking a risk just like they did in the tech boom. they got loans attached and walk away from them. guest: the viewer is exactly right that the repeal which gradually happened over the decade of the 1990's was a big mistake.
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it happened under a democratic president and a republican congress. the clinton administration was part of the deregulation of the financial industry, which was a disastrous mistake. it's a failure, certainly. as for the individual homeowners, i don't think that's relevant to the department of justice's approach to corporate white-collar investigations and whether they can prosecute adequately the individuals at the highest echelons of corporate america, which is what i'm focused on. host: was wall street scared of what was going on with prosecutions? guest: they purport to be quite scared about it. they lawyered up.
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they feel aggrieved and persecuted. i don't think they really fear the government anymore. they certainly don't fear the fcc. one defense lawyer said to me once that it's not practice to -- malpractice not to fight the fcc because they are so incompetent. people have understood that the department of justice is not competent either. i don't want to minimize this. prosecutorial power is an awesome power. bringing the government's attention can be a terrifying and awesome thing. even for a wealthy individual or ceo. we don't want persecutors to overreach or abuse the constitutional right of people, even ceos.
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what we want them to do is adequately investigate and have the skill set to investigate. investigations of individuals are very different from investigations of corporations. especially if you are focused on settling with the corporation. what has happened is the balance has tipped and the pendulum has swung toward the settlements, deferred prosecutions. this has gone from investigations of individuals, which are painstaking and take a long time. you need to work your way up to flip people and get to the top. host: when they are arrested, they do what is known in finances as an expected value analysis. they weigh the cost of fighting with the best and worst outcomes. guest: you are going up against people who do finance for a living. they will run the odds.
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the odds tip in their favor, especially when they resist cooperation. they also understand that if canremember things or claim that orcan't remember things claim that they did everything with the best of intent, a lot of corporate, white-collar crime comes down to what's in your heart or what's in your head. prosecutors need to read your mind and know your secret feelings. did you intend to lie about that or did you just make a mistake? should you have been informed about this? were you informed about this? those things are very hard to find. these cases are really not easy to investigate. as i said earlier, just because the prosecutor's job is hard, it's no excuse. these guys are playing at the top of their game here and they need to be good at their job. host: janice from nashville, tennessee. independent line.
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caller: i'm a longtime detroit guy. a few questions. it would help if we simplified the language. the writer is talking in terms of intellectual content that people don't understand. if you put it into layman's terms, there was a wonderful book, the prince of darkness. he was asked about it and he said you have to talk to the people. i would love to hear your thoughts on the incestuous nature of big business. they extort money. where is the reciprocity to protect the people? i see none. the conversation is way too soft in terms of excuses and inadequacy. if you have the brightest people
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running the country, the system will fail. inadequate,ystem is the system will fail. the housing market, banking market, real estate market -- it's a joke. i would love to hear your comment about reaganomics. guest: i think there are reasons for our systems. i want to set out to try to explore them. that is what i try to do in the piece. there are these ideas floating around that there is a conspiracy. maybe the treasury secretary brought eric holder into a room and said, we will not prosecute the banks. that did not happen. what i think happened was that there was a series of mistakes and fiascoes and adverse rulings from the courts. these are complex systems. there is an incestuous revolving
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door where people from white-collar firms go to the government and become prosecutors or become executives in the department of justice or high-level fcc executives. then they go back to those firms and are preserving their viability to go back to be a partner. you want to do certain things and achieve certain goals. but you are very worried about rocking the boat. also worried about losing, which is embarrassing and carries a taint. this is a big problem. we have a big problem with the revolving door. there are these other issues where they have lost tools. it's a complex mix of factors that have led us to where we are today. host: glenda from savannah, georgia. democrats line. caller: good morning.
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i have learned something. i wish i could incorporate myself because i would have religious rights and free speech rights. then i would never have to do -- i call because of martha stewart. that woman did the perp walk and they televised it. they had a long list of things she was charged with. she only ended up being indicted for lying to the fbi. she really served her time and she was embarrassed in front of the nation. i would think, if some executive signs some papers saying, "my most important person is my investor," i would think there is something they could get to make them do the perp walk.
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guest: i think the martha stewart prosecution was overreached. it was fairly silly. she did lie to the fbi. which was foolish and illegal. the prosecutors get angry about that. i don't think she was one of the more serious corporate criminals. it was an era in which corporate ceos had real fears that they could be sent to prison. bernie ebbers, martha stewart all went to prison for crimes. what we have lost now in this country is the ability to adequately investigate people in the c suite for crime.
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it goes beyond the big banks. it goes beyond the financial crisis. i think this is a white collar crisis that goes into the pharmaceutical industry, big auto, technology -- this erosion of investigative skill set and trial skill set at the department of justice that gives rise to corporate executive impunity. host: she mentioned the perp walk. giuliani is one who is mentioned for walking these type of white collar criminals in perp walk fashion. guest: he was a grandstanding egomaniac who was overly aggressive. what we probably needed in the wake of the financial crisis was somebody like giuliani or spitzer because these guys did
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not really care about their good standing in the corporate, white-collar world. they weren't trying to preserve the viability to go and make a lot of money in the private sector. they had future political ambitions. what they did have was a fearlessness. we needed some of that. we needed a ulysses s. grant. what we got was a bunch of mcclellan's. host: daniel from california. independent line. caller: i am a multimillion dollar investor. i represent investors who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars. the management corporations
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manage the property in such a way that they charge 15% interest on the debts. the debts are such an amount that when the property is sold, when there are debts that are not legitimate and are paid, the tenant is left penniless. i have been dealing with people and i'm trying to help them before the attorney general's office. some have committed suicide. they are elderly citizens and these management companies are preying on senior citizens. how can that be addressed? is that the same as arthur andersen or the lehman brothers?
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guest: i'm sorry to hear about your case. i'm not familiar with it. government wildly failed homeowners who were deeply underwater in their homes and were foreclosed on. this was a policy disaster from the obama administration were they implemented program after program after program that was wildly inadequate. they refused to fix it -- did not address it to fix it quickly enough. there was a big concern that fixing that and helping homeowners would hurt the banks. i think this is a scandal, a tragedy for the country.
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individual homeowners were deeply harmed by it. host: jesse eisinger's piece in the new york times. it is called only why -- why only one top banker went to jail for the financial crisis. thanks for your time. guest: thank you for having me. jim oberstar died this morning at his home in potomac, maryland at the age of 79. termsngressmen served 18 in the house and became chairman of the transportation committee in 2007. he was defeated in a reelection bid in 2010, and after that election, we talked to congressman oberstar about his 36 year career in congress. this is half an hour. >> i want to start with
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partisanship. let's stay with the home state. help me understand a state that can support the dsl and the tea party. >> it's hard to put those two in the same arena. year of a unique national wave of reaction against the number of national issues. they did converge in minnesota, as they did next door in wisconsin. that convergence of anger, lack of understanding to a great of the perception country was off course, off together, and we lost the minnesota state senate for the first time since 1972. , lostly lost the majority
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two thirds majority in the state senate. and similarly in the minnesota statehouse. in my own district, sort of fringe area around the western, southern portions of the district, there was this swing. all the state legislators lost in that area. a democrat was elected to the governor's office. it was quite a curious outcome. >> in your own case, did you see it coming? veryknew from the beginning of the year, right after the obama inaugural, that we were in for a very difficult year.
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transition election, it was a transformational time. the president is going to take proposeajor issues, and challenging, very deeply challenging options for the congress and the american people. we had a huge debt override. we had this massive unemployment . and the troubled asset relief program, to manage and deal with. in january we are not going to get these problems solved by the time of the next election. i prepared my campaign staff and office staff. we had to work very hard and do a lot of outreach, and did. and take on these issues.
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but not shrink from the tough votes. health care i knew was going to be the toughest of all votes. me, this was something very visceral. union,, the steelworkers which my father was a founder -- he had card number one for the underground iron ore miners in 1937, when the still working -- steelworking organizers came through. they were negotiating a contract proposedsteel, and coverage of health insurance and retirement in their contract. the steel companies appealed to the national labor relations board, which said that retirement and health insurance are not robber subjects of contract negotiations. harry truman won the election. he had come to the iron rage --
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range and spoken at a rally there. he had been through steel country. he replaced the chairman of the national labor relations board. the steelworkers union appealed the previous decision. that healthen ruled insurance and retirement are extensions of pay, and therefore proper subjects for contract negotiations. in 1952, the steel workers went for 150 days. i brought lunch buckets out to my father and other men on strike. they won. improve theiry inclusion of health insurance and retirement pay in their contract negotiations. i wish my father had lived long enough to see the day that he
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passed a national health insurance program. it is not universal coverage, it is not single payer, but it is a vast improvement. >> we have done a series of about the facts that over the course of the last 20, 30 years, it has been a period of growth in the united states. we are in $14 trillion worth of debt, and the current congress will have to spend the next years finding a way to trim government. that comes to mind, is it more fun being a congressman when you are adding isgrams and building that it for the current crop who will have to figure out how to trim government? we spent hours and hours
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finding ways to trim risk , anding, cut back programs meet the goals of deficit under the annual deficit reduction targets. it's not a pleasant task. it is one that requires cooperation of the executive branch and the legislative branch. i understand very well how difficult it is to balance these items. in that first reagan thent, he cut and eliminated the grant program for wastewater treatment construction. building wastewater treatment plants to clean up our municipal household wastes, where they are discharged into receiving waters, and converting that to a loan program, and then seeing
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the loan program restricted further. those are not the purposes for which i sought service in the congress. the supportexpand of government for those public broad social have benefits, such as clean water. we are not treating more water in this world. all the water that ever will be is with us today. we need to protect it and handed on to the next generation. i have also served congress long enough to have voted for the clinton deficit reduction package. to auild set us on course balanced budget, and then a budget surplus in 2001. $236 billion budget surplus. in 1993 we voted to cut programs programs.ederal agency
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we reduce the number of subcommittees in the house. we cut our own budget in the house of representatives in that same act. the result was a structural the functions of government. we also recaptured some of the high and tax revenue -- high-end from those high earners, high income earners that reagan had cutbacks for. billionlt was $236 budget surplus. debt held by public was at $5.7 trillion in january. we were on track to have zero debt held by public in 10 years, saving social security for the next 75 years. then president bush pushed
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through huge tax cuts for the richest two percent of americans, launched us into two wars, not supported and paid for, not offset by taxes or by a shared sacrifice by all americans in their tax structure. that put us on course to have , and togetherent with the financial meltdown, change in the glass-steagall act that allowed non-bank banks to function as banks. here we had this huge collapse of the home mortgage market, of the domestic and international , and a need for
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a rescue package. somehow that became the democrats' problem. whether we did not message it right or express it properly to the public -- we did address it. while the tarp was a bush era initiative to deal with this worldwide financial meltdown, the restrictions, restraints and secretarylity -- paulson wanted 750 billion dollars and get out of my way, and don't hold me accountable. we put restraints on its use. now all the $20 billion will be paid back. t $20 billion will be paid back. that message got lost in this last election. going back to your original question, did i anticipate -- all thesew we had
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difficult issues to deal with. i knew we had health care to deal with. i did not anticipate health care taking so long. i thought it was something we would see through to enactment happen, but that did not because of delays, filibusters, hot holds an cold holds and all those things the senate does. billsave 412 house passed that have not been acted upon. around andan turn say, the democrats have the white house, senate, and the house, and they could not pass all these bills. in the relating of news and telling of the story, the other part was not told. the republicans in the senate dated the agenda. veryor mcconnell is
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astute, skillful at maneuvering filibusters at the right time on the right issues and holding things up and making it difficult for us to move our agenda. agenda.ove our much of it, but not all of it. >> let me ask about partisanship inside congress. i have heard it repeated, lamenting that partisanship or lack of bipartisan cooperation inside congress -- do you share that lament, and can you trace its roots? >> in our committee, in this committee room, we have had probably the best bipartisanship of any committee in the house
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and the senate. 2007, we passed the water resources development act. we work with the corps of engineers to expand the lochs in mississippi, to build levees to protect against floods, to rebuild the wetlands and gulf of mexico from east texas all the way through to alabama, and other such works by the corps of engineers that are vital to the well-being of this nation. president bush vetoed that bill. we overrode that veto. history of congress, there have been 1170 vetoes. only 106 have been overridden. ours was 107th. because ined established a partnership with the ranking member, the senior florida.n john mica of
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not just when i took the chairmanship, but prior to that, when i was chair of the aviation -- we did things together. i established and inclusiveness with the republicans. during the years later that we when mr. the minority, shuster of pennsylvania was chairman of the committee, he and i traveled the country in support of a significant increase in our surface transportation bill that became known as t-21. and then, atlanta. at the end of a news conference, the last question was a reporter who said, why are you a democrat, traveling with mr. shuster, a republican? never seenause i've
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a democratic road or republican bridge rate -- bridge. undaunted, the reporter turned to mr. shuster and said, why are you traveling with a democrat? he said, jim oberstar and i are joined at the hip. we have different viewpoints, but we reached common ground. when we did, we stuck with it. we forged something better for the country. not everyone has the best ideas. if you find common ground, you reach good ideas and good policy that is workable for the country. throughout 2007, 2000 eight, we passed very significant legislation reauthorizing amtrak. came from one perspective and i came from another. he had an idea of engaging the private sector. i do not think that would be
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workable. as we talked, as we looked each other in the eye and laid out the specific proposals, there was a trust between us. he's not setting a trap for me, i'm not setting a trap for him. seeing what we can do for the greater public good. we achieved an authorization for amtrak that eventually following here, 2008, president bush signed into law. i can say that for the state revolving loan fund. the faa authorization bill that we passed in 2007, and again in 2009. never got through the senate. and a host of other measures. putting the first affordable system on the roof of the department of energy.
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if you work together, if you trust the other person, if that person has good ideas, seeking the public good from his or her perspective, and that person looks at you as if you have the same goal in mind, you can achieve these great things. parthappened in the latter , the republican leadership took of committee and set a harder edge and more difficult edge example, their position on earmarks. we have never considered the work of the corps of engineers earmarks.
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you start with a survey of resolutions. you do not go out and authorize a levy. you first authorize a study of the problem to determine whether a levy is the right approach, or some other initiative is the right approach. and what are the potential costs, and what are the potential benefits? that report comes back to the congress, and we review it and authorize the next step. finally, it goes all the way through and has a signature of the chief of engineers. the republican leadership took that this is in the general category of an earmark, youtold their members cannot recommend projects with the corps of engineers. that created a point of friction. knew that their constituents wanted these projects. we require members to sign a
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each memberat submitting a project request has no personal a friendly -- personal or family interest in the project. there is a request from a local units of government that says that we request the project, and we have the nonfederal funds to match the federal dollars to carry through to completion. that disrupted the bipartisanship, although in this committee room i said, we need to move this bill. my intention is to move it through committee. a change of heart, you're welcome to bring your projects back into the authorization. that could have been done very differently. i said, that's not the right way to conduct the public's business. between your 18 terms as a
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member in the 12 years he spent beforehand as a top staffer on wonderingll, i'm which of those you observed was the best at promoting his own legislative agenda? who worked with the congress most effectively? >> lyndon johnson. john f. kennedy was an idea person. he inspired people. he aroused their best passions and best instincts, and appealed to the greater good of each individual. lyndon johnson knew how to get it done. he spent a lot of time on the phone calling. depending on the nature of the problem he would say, i have a little ox in the ditch. a bigger problem, he would say, i have a little ox in the ditch and i need your help.
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he worked every problem , in addition to having an able staff that work i've never seen anyone so effective as lyndon johnson. in one instance, i had worked with my predecessor, john blahnik. major program. i did a great deal of the staff work, writing the language and committee report and conference report. mr. blahnik saw to it that i was invited to the white house. lyndon johnson made a little squiggle. andrabbed me by the lapel pulled me up to his nose and said, i want you to tell john that i want that clean water bill, you hear?
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looked at me laughing and said, i know what you're here for. and we'll do it. i've never seen another president update that way. if he had not had vietnam on his shoulder, i think lyndon johnson would be down in history as one of our greatest presidents. >> we have eight or nine minutes left. i'd like to look across the arc of time you have served here, and ask if you can tell me what your most number of will -- admirable -- memorable bill has been. >> i can tell you my most memorable bill. i have had many. my first term, second year in senates, the house and had passed a cost-of-living adjustment for retired federal employees. i received award,
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letter from a constituent saying, i noticed that congress passed this pay increase or cost-of-living adjustment for retirees. i'm a lighthouse retiree. i did not get an adjustment. why? fair question, serving on the coast guard subcommittee at the time, lighthouses came under the jurisdiction of the coast guard. it turns out that they had their own separate retirement program in 1939 when the lighthouse service was absorbed into the coast guard, and should have been included in a separate provision of that cost-of-living adjustment bill but were not because people did not know this. i introduced legislation. the cost would be $1 million. this is a footnote to history. the office of management and budget objected.
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i said, this is the right thing to do. the full committee passed. the house and senate passed it. gerald ford signed it into law. i got the slip law. i signed it. it to my constituent and said, the congress has acted to correct the problem you brought to my attention. received alater i letter from his wife saying, my husband received your note. he was so thrilled to know that this had passed. he died the next day. but he died knowing that government could work for even one person. if you care about something, write your member of congress? >> the constitution provides for every citizen, preserves the
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right of every citizen to petition the government for redressing grievances. the person petitioned government. the grievance was redressed. his widow received the benefit. he knew the government could work even for one person. >> what are you going to miss most? going to miss the hearing process, the give-and-take, the questioning the witnesses, the seeking of the right answer, seeking of truth. quest in all my service in the congress. i'm going to miss problem-solving. rewarding andt challenging with the constituents, the lighthouse
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problem of the need for a light rail service in the a $480minneapolis, million issue -- it is, find a way to get it done. that is what i find most rewarding in public service. >> i was reading a newspaper story about you clearing out your office you have had after all these years. lots of history in that space that you have accumulated over the course of these decades in congress. what are you going to do with your papers? >> the minnesota historical society deputy director came up to review the finals and help me understand what they find useful for history, and which things to discard, as did the library and of congress.
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we have separated these documents. to many work has largely gone to the library of congress. papers, probably 120 boxes are going to the minnesota historical society. probably eight or 10 boxes of material that i will find useful in whatever i pursue next are staying with me. >> have you decided what you want to do next? >> i would like to teach at a shapete-level, to help the thoughts of the next-generation of transportation professionals. engagedo continue to be in those aspects of transportation that i found most exciting and rewarding, .eliverability issues livability issues.
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changing the prospects for an entire generation of children, moving them from inactivity to an active lifestyle, and reducing the possibility of growth in obesity and type two diabetes. with the be engaged complete streets and the safety issues in transportation, and that is quite an agenda. much of what has propelled me in the committee work that i have done. >> you leave this institution with an obvious amount of fondness and respect for what he can accomplish. the public view of congress right now is at one of its most all-time lows. what is it going to take to turn that around? is it a mark of economy or something more fundamental? >> there is the problem of the economy. he did a perception that
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not turn around fast enough. in this age of instant communication, where the blackberry sends you a message and you send a response back in fractions of a second -- people get used to that and say, it did not turn around. the portion that we did of our committee of stimulus, i held hearings every 30 days trade i held all state and federal agencies accountable. we should have had twice as much, eight percent of stimulus accounted for half of the jobs created. we should have had three times as much funding and highways and bridges and wastewater treatment lengths and airports on runways and taxiways and transit buses. we would've had 3 million people working. it's going to take that turnaround of job creation. it's going to take some fiscal to bring down the annual deficit in the long-term
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debt of the federal government. that will help to restore the public trust in the congress. >> the last question, if you could put a single word to your emotion as you leave this place, what would that word be? >> nostalgia. >> now i need to know why. because i love what i've ,orked for and accomplished seeing people go back to work in my district. when an iron ore processing plant was shut down because of lack of market, i engaged a steel mill in china to come in and be a partner and put the people back to work. .ring a new business thousand jobs were created.
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this was a time when you made a difference in people's lives. i won't be able to do it in the same way. there's a feeling of accomplishment. of myed to the fullest ability every day. it is the greatest honor anyone can confer upon you, to be elected by your peers, to serve them in the public arena in this greatest democracy on the face , and to leave that is difficult. but i had intended to in the next two to four years, find a findo wind it all down and another pursuit of my energies and interests.
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it is the end of a chapter, not the end of a book. >> thank you for talking to c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] familyoberstar's announced he died unexpectedly this morning in his maryland home. he was 79 years old. >> for over 35 years, c-span brings public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences. gavel-to-gavelte coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service a private industry. itpan, created by the table -- cable-tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. watch as in hd, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. as the white house
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correspondents dinner and our live coverage gets underway in an hour, with a red carpet arrivals, we will bring you all the events of the evening. author mark leibovitz is in washington, promoting the paper bag release -- paperback release of "this town." he was at "new york" magazine pre-party. he told the magazine, quote, i would hope it would be a pivot point in which washington may be collectively comes to a point of self-awareness that maybe this looks awful. maybe it is excessive. mark leibovitz talked about washington and "this town" last year on "q&a." this is an hour. ♪
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>> this week on "q&a," new york times magazine correspondent and author mark leibovitch discusses his new book entitled "this town: two parties nd a funeral -- plus plenty of valet parking! -- in america's gilded capital." >> mark leibovitch, author of "this town," i want to show you some video and get you to comment on it. >> they chartered a bus to take some visitors. i cannot tell you the last time i heard the words henry kissinger and greyhound bus in the same sentence. they wandered onto the wrong bus and ended up in a promise keepers rally in arlington, virginia.

Washington This Week
CSPAN May 3, 2014 2:56pm-5:00pm EDT

The week's events from Capitol Hill, the White House and around the country.

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